Monday, August 16, 2010

Freeman Vineyards 2005 Secco Rondinella Corvina (Hilltops)

The 2005 release of the Freeman Rondinella Corvina blend sports a different label to the earlier vintages I have tried, and a new name: Secco. It certainly is a dry, and drying wine, as much from extract as tannins, with fruit currently in more of a supporting than leading role.

This wine uses a CSIRO built solar/gas dryer at Prunevale to dry a portion of Brian Freeman's fuit, along the lines of an amarone wine. As well as using two of the traditional amarone varieties (rondinella and corvina) that are little planted in Australia, the partial drying of the fruit modifies the tannins, producing a characteristic bittersweet and dark chocolate profile. The drying takes around 30% of the wet-weight out of the fruit, concentrating juice and sugars, as well as affecting the tannins in stalks, stems and skins.

From this tasting, the wine needs a few years to come into itself, but was still an excellent accompaniment to beef cheeks braised in red wine, served with a saffron risotto.

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